She said it sweetly, this comment that still gnaws at me. I was the nervous guest speaker and had just told a room full of generous women that it was an honor to write about faith, to listen as people shared what was sacred to them.
“You must be very open minded,” she said after I sat down and my heart had slowed to normal. There was chatter at the table. I mumbled something about how I think it’s more difficult to write about Christianity in the newspaper than about other faiths. Someone asked another question and the conversation shifted before I could honestly respond to her.
I’m not naive. I know the term open minded comes with its own set of political luggage, but what I wish I had said is that I don’t worry about all of that. Instead I focus on having an open heart, the kind that listens respectfully to all of God’s children. Of all faiths.
My work has taken me inside mosques and temples, through the quiet hallways of monasteries and the winding paths of labyrinths. And never have I felt my faith threatened. In fact, it has only deepened by learning how others see God.
I wish I would have told her.